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Songs

This section of the WhatNotToSing.com database is so dangerous it ought to come with a warning sticker. There are no shortage of ways to misinterpret the Song data we've compiled. For example, if you happen to have toothpaste for brains, and you looked at the table below, you might reason thusly:

"Hmm...'In A Dream', by Badlands. A 94.0 average, that's good. Only been performed once, for 5-stars. Looks like a pretty sweet choice. I'll try it!"

Thankfully, most contestants this dumb can't find the audition site in the first place, and the judges do a decent job of weeding out the ones that do. But beware, the Songs table provides plenty more rope with which to hang yourself. Here, then, are a few bits of friendly advice from the staff.

  • In all seriousness, do avoid songs that have already been showstoppers; the odds are not in your favor. Note how many songs have provided a 5-star performance (sort the Ratings Tab table by the rightmost column), then note how few have done so for two different contestants. It's difficult enough to be compared to a professional recording artist, but when you invite comparisons to previous excellent Idol moments as well, you're really asking for it.
  • Corollary: steer clear of commercial hit songs by a former Idol, unless your goal is to shout to the world, "Hey, look! I can't sing as well as someone you crowned champion a few years ago!"
  • In a similar vein, avoid songs associated with a previous disastrous performance. If your lifelong dream is to sing Crocodile Rock on the Idol stage, get over it.
  • Keep in mind that each song's numerical rating is of the performances of that song, not of the song itself. Always take the singers into account. The "X-Factor" column in the Extended Data tab is a great way to see whether a song has helped or hurt singers in the long run.

Which brings us to this final tidbit of advice. When faced with a choice between a song that has been performed previously on Idol (even if it wasn't a showstopper or a disaster) and a fresh one, all else being equal, go with the fresh one. We've found a clear downward trend on repeat and reprise performances, particularly in the later seasons.

[back to top] American Idol  Songs


Click on a column header to sort by that column.
# Song / Artist Average Rating #Pf Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
176
That's All Right0001That's All Right
73.0
 
1 73 73 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
177
Virtual Insanity0001Virtual Insanity
73.0
 
1 73 73 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
178
Walk On By0001Walk On By
73.0
 
1 73 73 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
179
Wicked Game0001Wicked Game
73.0
 
1 73 73 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
180
You Send Me0001You Send Me
73.0
 
1 73 73 17.0 0 0 0 1 0
181
Always On My Mind0001Always On My Mind
72.8
 
5 86 60 20.4 0 0 0 4 1
182
Anyway0001Anyway
72.5
 
2 79 66 20.5 0 0 0 2 0
183
With A Little Help From My Friends0001With A Little Help From My Friends
72.5
 
2 74 71 18.5 0 0 0 2 0
184
Aint No Sunshine0001Ain't No Sunshine
72.4
 
5 90 46 17.4 0 0 1 2 2
185
A Broken Wing0001A Broken Wing
72.3
 
4 82 68 19.5 0 0 0 3 1
186
Blackbird0001Blackbird
72.0
 
1 72 72 16.0 0 0 0 1 0
187
Cant You See0001Can't You See
72.0
 
1 72 72 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
188
If You Asked Me To0001If You Asked Me To
72.0
 
1 72 72 15.0 0 0 0 1 0
189
Miss Independent0001Miss Independent
72.0
 
1 72 72 23.0 0 0 0 1 0
190
No More Tears Enough Is Enough0001No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)
72.0
 
2 81 63 12.0 0 0 0 1 1
191
Royals0001Royals
72.0
 
1 72 72 20.0 0 0 0 1 0
192
72.0
 
1 72 72 18.0 0 0 0 1 0
193
Uprising0001Uprising
72.0
 
1 72 72 27.0 0 0 0 1 0
194
Weekend In New England0001Weekend In New England
72.0
 
1 72 72 25.0 0 0 0 1 0
195
While My Guitar Gently Weeps0001While My Guitar Gently Weeps
72.0
 
1 72 72 21.0 0 0 0 1 0
196
Wide Awake0001Wide Awake
72.0
 
1 72 72 22.0 0 0 0 1 0
197
Every Breath You Take0001Every Breath You Take
71.8
 
4 79 65 20.3 0 0 0 4 0
198
Maybe Im Amazed0001Maybe I'm Amazed
71.8
 
4 82 50 19.3 0 0 1 2 1
199
Ready For Love0001Ready For Love
71.5
 
2 75 68 20.5 0 0 0 2 0
200
So Small0001So Small
71.5
 
2 86 57 23.0 0 0 1 0 1
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